Wilderness Therapy

Last week just felt haaaard. After the failed spinal tap, I struggled to keep optimism and perspective. I was easily irritated, virtually everything sent me into an emotional tailspin and I just didn’t feel like myself at all. Ugliness abounded.
I had an elopement in Vail on Saturday so we thought we’d turn it into a weekend away and try out a one-night camping trip. Most of the day really didn’t go all that well. We were stuck in 4+ hours worth of traffic to Vail, I was almost late to the wedding and stressed to the max. Once we arrived, the skies opened up during the wedding and I shot for an hour in pouring rain with a grouchy bride who wouldn’t share her umbrella. At the end of it all, we seriously contemplated just turning around and going home. The weather didn’t look promising and we were both so down that the thought of driving 2 more hours and setting up camp in a thunderstorm really didn’t appeal to us. 
I’m not sure what exactly caused us to keep going, but we did. We stopped for fuel and kept heading west instead of east. 90 minutes later we were in the Flat Tops Wilderness and utterly in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. It was then that my perspective started to shift.
Every time life gets too hard, a trip into God’s creation almost always seems to be the remedy for us. The last few months have been some of our hardest months and I haven’t felt physically capable of spending a full weekend away in the mountains, so I knew this trip was going to bring some spiritual healing to my heart. And it did. This was wilderness therapy at its finest!


 We spent a while driving around looking for the perfect camp site. We 4x4ed up dirt roads and through aspen trees. This was one of my favorite sites, but someone was already occupying it so we moved on.

Eventually we found a great spot! Well, technically it was a great site but there was a dead chipmunk in our fire ring and we didn’t really feel like cooking dinner over it, so we moved to the next site over, which wasn’t quite as good, but still very good!

Also, I *think* we may have finally resolved our tent drama. YAY! We returned the REI tent we camped with back in February because it flapped in the wind and was too loud and small. We noticed that Marmot had just released a new tent called the Tungsten2P. It’s lightweight, durable, easy to get in and out of, very spacious inside and best of all, no flapping noise like our previous 2 tents! A thunderstorm rolled through at about 3:30am and this tent held up beautifully! We stayed dry and had no issues with the wind at all. We’ll keep testing it out, but I think we finally have a keeper!

 I was really happy that I had a chance to bring my camera, tripod and filters with me on this trip. I spent a lot of time taking photos and immersing myself in our surroundings (while also taking it pretty easy, resting a lot, relaxing and going slow). It felt good to get back into landscape photography a little bit.  I’m really happy with how far I’ve come in learning and technical knowhow with night photography. 6 months ago, I could only really dream of taking photos like these, but each time I practice, I get closer to what I am aiming for.

It was right around this time that I started feeling a sense of peace and calm wash over me. There is something about standing under the stars that can put everything into perspective. The anger, doubt, frustration, irritation, sadness and discouragement began to fade away. I know God has everything all worked out. I know that trials are a part of life and that He will use them for His glory. I know that I still have learning to do when it comes to going through difficulties with a godly perspective. But those truths didn’t really sink in and make sense until I was looking out over this scene. It was like I could hear God whisper “I know it’s been hard, but chin up! I’ve got this Beck, and I will continue to carry you through, regardless of how easy or hard it may be. Calm down. Trust me.” It’s hard to stay mad/sad/discouraged when the Creator of the universe is speaking truth over you. Thank you Jesus!

Sunday we just took it slow. Slept in, drank coffee in the cool mountain air, David fished for a little bit and then we headed up a dirt road to explore. We checked out a cool looking trailhead that I definitely want to hike once I’m back to hiking more. We had a picnic in our hammock and then packed up to head out. We took the long way home, avoiding interstates at all costs. Our drive home took just as long as the interstate, but without people, accidents, motorhomes, tourists and stress. It was calm, beautiful and relaxing.

I am so so so so glad we didn’t turn the car around on Saturday. We both needed this trip so badly and I’m very thankful we stayed the course and went through with it. It definitely made me look forward to even more trips like this in the near future!


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